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Here’s Every Way to Cook Chicken in Your Air Fryer

We love air fryer chicken! Coat the chicken in breadcrumbs to create a healthier alternative to fried chicken, or cook it without breading to enjoy the most flavorful, tender chicken of your life.

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Sweet gingered chicken wingsTaste of Home

Chicken Wings

The key to successful air fryer chicken wings is to cook the chicken in batches. You want the wings to lay in a single layer, barely touching each other, so each wing can get crisped by the hot air. Most air fryers can comfortably fit about a pound (10 to 12 drumettes). Make sure you’re not making these common mistakes with your air fryer.

Instructions: The wings turn out best if you cook them in stages: 350° F for 25 minutes, flipping the wings halfway through. Then, increase the heat to 400° F and continue to cook until the outsides are nice and crispy, about 5 minutes.

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Chicken Breasts

Tired of boring, dried-out chicken breasts? Cook ’em in your air fryer! The convection airflow works wonders at keeping the meat juicy. You may only be able to fit one or two chicken breasts in the air fryer at once, but you can return all the chicken to the basket at the end, and they should be reheated in about 2 to 3 minutes. Here’s what an air fryer really does to your food, by the way.

Instructions: Feel free to bread the chicken breasts first, or skip the breading for a low-carb meal. Either way, start by brining the chicken like this, and then cook it in the air fryer at 375° F. Flip halfway through, cooking for 15 to 20 minutes total.

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We love making chicken thighs under the broiler or on the grill, and it turns out our favorite recipe for chicken thighs works in an air fryer, too! Most air fryers will fit about six to eight chicken thighs, depending on whether they’re boneless or bone-in. Still need to find the perfect air fryer? We found it for you.

Instructions: A 360° F temperature seems to work best, but the cook times will vary: 15 to 17 minutes for boneless and 22 to 25 minutes for bone-in, flipping halfway through. If you bought chicken thighs with the skin on, increase the heat to 400° F at the end and cook for an additional 5 minutes to crisp things up.

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Oven-fried chicken DrumstickTaste of Home


The drumsticks can be challenging to cook because they have more tendons than other chicken cuts. That said, they turn out super juicy and delicious if you cook them right. You may only be able to fit six drumsticks in the air fryer at once, but it only takes 2 to 3 minutes to reheat them when everything’s finished cooking. Find out the difference between air frying and baking.

Instructions: Feel free to add a Southern-style breading to your drumsticks, or coat them with a tasty glaze. Set the air fryer to 375° F and cook the drumsticks for 15 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through.

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air-fryer loaded baked potato chicken stripsTaste of Home

Chicken Tenders

Air fryer chicken tenders are an easy way to whip up a snack, an appetizer or a quick-and-easy dinner. The air fryer should fit about a pound of chicken, but that could be anywhere from three to eight tenders depending on the size of the chicken strips. Don’t miss this simple trick to perfectly golden air fryer food every time.

Instructions: This recipe works for both homemade breaded chicken strips and store-bought frozen chicken tenders. Set the air fryer to 390° F and cook the chicken in a single layer. After 6 minutes, flip the chicken and cook for an additional 6 to 8 minutes, until the chicken is crispy and no longer pink.

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Homemade Rotisserie Chicken with Herbs and LemonsBrent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Whole Chicken

A whole chicken in the air fryer tastes like a rotisserie chicken: crispy on the outside and juicy and moist inside. You shouldn’t even have to cut the chicken into pieces; most air fryer baskets can fit a whole chicken.

Instructions: Season the chicken generously and spray it with cooking oil. Cook breast-side down in a 360° F air fryer for about 40 to 50 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook it for an additional 10 to 20 minutes, until the thickest part of the breast registers 165° F on an instant-read thermometer. Now that you know all the great ways to cook chicken, make sure you know how to properly clean your air fryer for the best results.

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Originally Published on Taste of Home

Lindsay D. Mattison
Lindsay D. Mattison is a professional chef and a food writer. After graduating from Cascade Culinary school, Lindsay became the Executive Chef at Jackson's Corner in Bend, OR, from 2013 to 2016. Her genuine passion for food and sustainable food practices led her to find the farmer in herself. She lives in Durango, CO, where she enjoys the trials and errors of small plot farming. Lindsay is currently working on a cookbook that teaches home cooks how to craft beautiful meals without a recipe, tentatively titled "The Art of Bricolage: Cultivating Confidence and Creativity in the Kitchen."